Learn about one member's GDA experience.
This column highlights GDA members talking about their path to dentistry and the value they find in GDA membership. This month, we hear from Dr. Kristina Dawson in the Northern District.
Q: How did you become a member of the GDA?
A: I joined GDA at “Transition Day” at MCG. The GDA comes to Augusta and provides lunch and information about all the services, networking and legislative work that they do and at the end of the day you sign up! I still feel that being a part of the GDA not only helps the dental profession, but is an invaluable resource to your practice.
Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A: Growing up I always wanted to do something in the medical field. At that time, I thought it would be something in a hospital. Dentistry became much more appealing
during college as I learned about the lasting relationships you can establish with patients
while working with your hands.
Q: What was your first member event?
A: My first member event was a Northern District Meeting. It was a continuing education dinner right after I graduated from dental school. I wanted to make sure continuing education was an integral part of my routine following dental school, and attending those meetings supplied quality CE in small doses.
Q: Why did you decide to become a dentist?
A: Dentistry was appealing to me because it allows you to serve in many different roles. You get to be a business owner, artist, teacher and engineer. I loved that dentistry allows you to build life-long relationships with families and your community.
Q: Who introduced you to GDA?
A: I was introduced to GDA at a very young age through my dad. What I remember of
it then was the family trips to the beach in the summer. While in dental school, I was
introduced to GDA through ASDA, which then transitioned to involvement in the GDA as it is now.
Q: What would you tell a dental student about GDA?
A: The GDA offers a team and resources that are invaluable to your daily practice and the dental profession as a whole. The GDA will serve as a teacher, an insurance provider, an advocate, a PR representative, a consultant and much more throughout your dental career.
Q: What would you say to a dental student about why being a part of a professional group is important?
A: A professional group, especially the GDA, increases your chance of success and ensures a strong future for both your practice and dentistry in Georgia. It ensures that you stay engaged and meet colleagues with similar successes and struggles as yourself.
Q: Have you made any friends or long relationships through GDA?
A: Yes! One of the highlights of GDA is that you are able to meet dentists from different
areas and all in different stages of their practices.
Q: What was your first job?
A: My first job was stuffing billing envelopes and stamping reminder postcards at my
dad's office with my sister. She steered far away from dentistry, but it was my first introduction and probably helped to foster an interest in dentistry.
Q: What advice would you give to people aspiring to go to dental school to become a dentist?
A: Dentistry is a wonderful field that is so rewarding. You are able to improve patients’
quality of life and also have the flexibility to pursue interests outside of your work
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: I love to travel, run and spend time with family and friends. A typical weekend is
spent with my husband, Andrew, and our chocolate lab, Tucker.
Q: What is your all-time dream vacation?
A: I will dream big! My all-time dream vacation is probably a trip around the world. I would love one of those plane tickets where you can stop at as many places as you want. Asia and Australia are two places that are on the wish list to visit.